What will cause the naive, the scared, the delusional or those in denial to finally leave the ELCA and stand up for God and His Word, which the ELCA has been demonically trying to destroy? What is the final straw that will break the camel's back?
I believe, for many, it will be the ELCA's words and decisions at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering that will cause Bible-believing ELCA members, churches and pastors to finally leave. (Please read about the speakers and what happened at the youth gathering here, here, here, here, here, here and here)
Content ranged from foul-hearted keynote speakers placed in front of the teenagers, to extremely liberal messages delivered, to transgenderism lifted up, to far-left social causes presented, and pro-LGBT mantras being communicated.
The Director and President of Lutheran CORE, Pr. Dennis D. Nelson, wrote this following the ELCA Youth Gathering, "The ELCA is guilty of a massive breach of trust. The ELCA cannot be trusted. We realize that those are very strong statements, but they are confirmed by the presentation given by one of the keynote speakers at the recent ELCA Youth Gathering." (see page one of his article here)
Generations Radio presented a program called "The ELCA Lutheran Church Dies" that was centered on the actions of the ELCA at the 2018 Youth Gathering. (listen here)
And Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, shared an article from Exposing the ELCA about the ELCA Youth Gathering with his hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook:
I have heard of people leaving their ELCA churches because of what happened at the ELCA Youth Gathering. So will this be a wake-up call for a great exodus of churches and members from the ELCA? Will the evil and false teachings displayed and given to the most vulnerable ELCA membership, the youth, be enough for places such as Lutheran Church of Hope and its satellite ELCA locations in the Des Moines, Iowa area, Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and similar churches throughout the United States to finally stand up for God's Word, for Truth, and break ties to this faith-destroying denomination?
I pray so. But shame on them if they remain.
Here are some additional examples of what was said and the happenings at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, to go along with the many articles Exposing the ELCA has already written. These come from the ELCA, ELCA pastors and those attending (again, please read the linked articles above to see the craziness of it all):
The ELCA magazine, Living Lutheran reports, “Last week at the ELCA Youth Gathering, many leaders spoke boldly about family separation and detention. In the AMMPARO/Lutheran Disaster Response space at the Gathering’s interactive center, youth were invited to sign advocacy cards, which will be sent to their representatives.” (See here)
Below are some more notable Youth Gathering social media posts. Notice, the gay affirming rainbow colors were prevalent at the ELCA youth event.
And here is an example of the type of pastors the ELCA is ordaining. Rev. Chesnut is talking about ELCA Pastor Tuhina Verma Rasche, his co-author of a vile "devotional," who was a keynote speaker at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering.
And here the ELCA Youth Gathering is lifting up Ramadan, a celebration of the "first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad." This, of course, is not an event that Christians should be celebration or lifting-up.
A few weeks ago, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s NPR news station posted an article entitled, “The Politics And Ethics Of Pennsylvania's Proposed Down Syndrome Abortion Ban.”
The article’s reporters spoke to several people about the abortion ban. One of those interviewed was Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor Natalie (Gessert) Hall:
“Hall said she doesn’t know if she would be capable of raising a child with Down syndrome, which she said is why she might have considered terminating such a pregnancy.
‘I’m not convinced that I would have the care and support I would need to embark on caring for a child with Down syndrome,’ she said. ‘Or a child with any other significant developmental or physical difficulties.’
...Hall said she’s counseled women who have struggled over whether to have abortions. Ultimately, she said it’s a personal choice that’s made more difficult by a society that’s not very accepting or supportive of people with disabilities.” (see here)
And thus we have another public statement by an ELCA clergy person who is supportive of a woman aborting the baby who is growing and developing in her womb. This is a common position for ELCA leadership and is reason alone for pro-life people to leave the denomination.
But there is more to this blog than Pastor Hall's public statement about abortion. See, I am familiar with her. She “follows” me on Facebook. Rev. Natalie Hall, formally Natalie Gessert, was a part of Lutheran CORE for a time (I am assuming that is no longer the case). In fact, she held a leadership position with Lutheran CORE. Lutheran CORE is a "Network for confessing Lutherans...(and an) advocate for Biblical authority and confessional fidelity among churches of the Lutheran community..." (see here)
A Lutheran CORE publication said:
“Pr. Chavez recognized and
thanked the Lutheran CORE staff, all
but two of whom are part-time…Facebook Moderator Natalie Gessert." (Page 2 of
She was also involved in this project:
“The 2010 Sola/ReClaim Edition* is a faithful word-for-word translation from Luther’s German Catechism.” “By the cooperative effort of Sola Publishing and ReClaim Resources this edition of the Small Catechism was produced in 2010 translators/authors representing Lutheran Core, WordAlone, LCMC, and NALC. The primary translator of the 2010 edition is Rev. Scott Grorud, with Rev. Thomas Jacobson, Rev. Natalie Gessert, and Dr. Gracia Grindal as translational consultants.” (see here)
So what happened to Pastor Natalie (Gessert) Hall? Why is this former leader in Lutheran CORE speaking out for abortion rights. Why is she posting on Facebook her support for homosexual marriage and rights? (see screenshots from her page posted on this blog). I do not know the answer, but I do know it is dangerous to place yourself in toxic cultures and environments. That is what you are doing by staying in the ELCA. It is dangerous and can bring about the compromising of your faith and Scripture. Sometimes when you are around someone long enough you succumb to their beliefs.
This is one reason I encourage people to leave the ELCA, pastors and members alike.
Below are additional interesting Facebook posts by Rev. Hall.
by Reverend Nicole A.M. Collins
This article is written for my pastoral peers as well as for continuing support for Lutheran CORE.
This has been a phrase I have meditated on for quite some time. From the beginning of my seminary journey to now coming from my initial steps into pastoral ministry. Why would this phrase have such a profound impact on my conscience? What was it that drove its conception in the first place?
A couple of years back was the last time I shared on here as an anonymous, frightened seminarian compelled to share what I felt was profoundly in error with the direction and intentions of liberal, intellectually-progressive Lutheran education… In short it became a definitive article on what I saw developing as Lutheran “Unitarianism” that has systemically gone out of its way to polarize & to a lesser extent, persecute people of true faith essentially over the concept of: whom do you serve?
Chaplaincy is a noble career, and is truly a significant aspect of the large skill set the post-modern Lutheran church pastor must incorporate to an extent in order to fully serve. The pastor is to be the nurturing guide, the discipleship coach, the catechist instructor, the counselor, the comforter, the steward, the administrator, the gardener, the house cleaner…. Ad infinitum! Things they never taught you in seminary & much more~
Speaking for myself, I have been tremendously blessed with having the experience of assisting to plant two unaffiliated Lutheran churches as well as recently have planted a small house church ministry which will shift to being a continuing online ministry once my husband & I move out west. Being bi-vocational is what is needed these days since the church is changing… BUT returning to the need to compose this article, to whom do you truly serve? Are you a pastor for Christ or are you a chaplain to culture?
As a former artist and poet, I love culture! Culture however holds a Pandora’s box of meanings, purpose and agenda. How you perceive and receive culture is the defining context here. Just this past weekend, I was privileged to attend an extended Lutheran CORE sponsored conference on Hispanic ministry. Topics ranged from Radical Hospitality (genuine pastoral care and implementation) to a Cursillo-like retreat to implement teaching discipleship principles through the Apostles Creed & Small Catechism known as Kogudus.
There were many other wonderful talks as well at the conference which what all talks had in common was addressing contexts. This address included the cultural context, ethnographic, economic and sociological scope of who you serve as a pastor for Christ, not as a chaplain to culture. Catering from Christ to serve others includes the concept and practice of altruism and accountability grounded in Grace through faith.
Catering to the self includes consumerism and political idealism. Both of these concepts cannot truthfully include Christ Jesus as the center and motivation to be guiding principles of discipleship yet alone genuinely reflect a call to accountability to both God and neighbor through TRUE Grace. Cheap Grace or works righteousness under the label of social justice seems to be a convenient label to make their efforts sound much more noble than they actually are.
Compassion has been made a political two-way street painted by designer self-oriented cherry-picked hermeneutics of Biblical truth! Showmanship and the ugliness of politicized doctrinal battle have tried to replace and divide the Gospel imperative of Christ, plain and simple. This Gospel imperative is the foundation to our gracious response: “29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
In essence, if you operate from a Grace-given, genuinely spiritually-transformed heart: you will be doing ministry in, with and through Christ—It’s NOT about you! & frankly it was never to be about “you.” Again, let this haunt you: To whom do YOU serve? This is the question I wish would haunt those who refuse to come to the table yet alone allow voice to Orthodox Lutherans. What this behavior of exclusion represents for me is graceless behavior. This ironically is what they condemn the Orthodox for is being exclusive…
This goes way beyond synod assemblies, politically driven seminaries and forums to be where and when we gracelessly label people as anti-gay, misogynists to Republicans or democrats, etcetera. It’s when we are profoundly and intentionally indifferent to whom we ARE to truly serve!
Championing the world of the self and all its needs, wants, decadence is only completing Satan’s goal for the church. Satan’s goal for the church is to serve the unholy trinity of I, Me, Mine—NOT the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If we have to control God and His Spirit through consumerist ideologies and politics, we glorify the empty promises of a world devoid of genuine being and purpose. The ruler of this world would love to see us further divide over BAD theology…
It’s a rather sad and humorous fact according to wikipedia that there are something like 440 different Lutheran bodies in the world today. Can’t we all just get along? Becomes a lovely note of sarcasm to a sad truth. Underneath all the layers of it’s about this or that doctrinally, socio-politically, BAD theologies and whatnot… the profound truth we’re avoiding here boils down to that haunting statement: To whom do you serve?
Being and becoming a Pastor for Christ is a lifetime’s spiritual formation journey. The first church is the heart—it’s is here we develop heart knowledge that is to be obediently and intentionally—prayerfully shaped by Grace through faith—Holy Spirit’s work. It is one grounded firmly in Biblical Truth incorporating a living “hermeneutic of faith” over a doctrinal, politically motivated agenda of the self over and above God AND neighbor! Maybe being in supportive communities such as Lutheran CORE, (if you’re still in the ELCA that is), is like trying to hold the Vietnamese borderline… OR maybe there is still genuine hope, enough grace and initiative to come to the table and ask, pray with one another: WHOM DO YOU SERVE?
Like many who have traversed the Lutheran alphabet soup groups just to get their toe into the door of pastoral ministry… I am done with crying my bitter tears and other Old Natured temptations to vent against the ELCA for I am serving my Lord and my neighbor…. My Lord Jesus and my neighbor go over and above denominations, socio-political BS and serving the world of the self! There’s a lot of work to be done people… I have no regrets that I am no longer ELCA, that’s for sure. What I do regret is that we’re still engaged in these graceless battles. The only person we’re serving with great success beyond the self is Satan. Again in closing may this NOT bind your conscience but free it: Whom Do you truly, faithfully and graciously serve?
Reverend Nicole A.M. Collins was ordained January 17th, 2015 in Chicago & currently serves as the Spiritual Formation Pastor at an unaffiliated Lutheran church plant—The Gathering North in suburban Chicagoland, Glenview, Illinois. She and her husband Phil live in Mundelein Illinois. She is currently awaiting a call for her first solo pastorate in the state of Oregon. Her then anonymous article here was: http://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/a-seminarians-journey-exposing-the-teaching-of-an-elca-seminary
(by Robert Benne. Posted on a Lutheran forum)
I found a good deal to agree with in the reflections on “After Schism” by my friend and colleague, Paul Hinlicky. My memories are still fresh of both of us standing outside the first ELCA Assembly in 1989 in Chicago, smoking cigarettes and fuming about what was happening therein, as well as of his dramatic gesture—he disgustedly threw a torn copy of The Lutheran from the pulpit in Boe Chapel at St. Olaf College--at one of the Called to Faithfulness Conferences in the early 90s. So we share a long period of resistance to the trends operating in the ELCA from its conception in the Committee for a New Lutheran Church. However, from 2009 onward we have taken different paths. As he makes clear in his article, he continues his tortured existence in the ELCA and in the new incarnation of CORE. I chose to shift my commitment and soon my membership to the North American Lutheran Church. I spiritually left the ELCA when it made its fateful decisions in 2009. Strangely, I found that defeat liberating—I no longer had to fight against something forever and ever, but rather could reorient my energies for something, first toward CORE in its earlier version and then toward the NALC, which it birthed.
I have served in several capacities in the NALC since its founding. For six years after those 2009 decisions we have continued to belong to an orthodox ELCA congregation, the same one to which Paul belongs, so I fully agree with him that there are genuine Lutheran Christians as well as orthodox Lutheran parishes remaining in the ELCA. But I see little hope that the slow movement of the ELCA toward liberal Protestantism will abate. Indeed, the path away from orthodoxy was dramatized by the election of a male bishop “married” to another man. So, after making a decision some years ago to cast my lot with the NALC, my wife and I will bring our local parish membership in line with that decision by joining St. John Lutheran in Roanoke when that parish joins the NALC in September.
As a member of the Commission on Theology and Doctrine of the NALC, I want to remonstrate a bit with Paul about several of his comments about the NALC. The first one concerns his chastising the NALC leadership for its “playing fast and loose with the truth in the process leading up to its now ‘pending’ application for membership in the Lutheran World Federation.” As he notes, one of the two reasons for wanting to join the LWF—against considerable resistance from many NALC parishes—was to respond positively to requests by African churches to help them stand for orthodoxy in the LWF. The other was to enter into world-level ecumenical conversations through the LWF.
One of the requirements for membership of a new body in the LWF is that the contiguous churches—the ELCA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada—would have to give their approval. That didn’t happen so our application was put on “pending” status, with the accompanying question from the LWF about whether we would practice altar and pulpit fellowship with those churches. We replied that NALC parishes could and would practice such on an ad hoc basis. We knew there were orthodox ELCA pastors who could faithfully serve NALC parishes, and we had little doubt that NALC pastors could serve in orthodox ELCA parishes. Meanwhile, however, the ELCA has remained silent on the matter while a number of ELCA bishops have played a mean-spirited game of hardball. ELCA pastors who want to serve NALC parishes—even supply preach for them—have been threatened with expulsion from the ELCA. So, the truth is that there is far more hostility to pulpit and altar fellowship in the ELCA than in the NALC. The next step, as I understand it, is that the ELCA, ELCIC, and the NALC are supposed to have joint conversations on a number of issues before anything further can happen.
A second item concerning the NALC is Paul’s intimation that NALC cast CORE into outer darkness because it would not “play a stronger role in facilitating exodus from the ELCA” and therefore not help increase the growth of the NALC. The story is more complex than that. Under Steve Shipman the direction of CORE bent more and more toward remaining in the ELCA as a shelter for the orthodox and as a prophetic voice within the ELCA. Little energy was given to helping churches find their way out of the ELCA into the NALC. Meanwhile, the funds to support CORE were drying up and the NALC had to pick up the bill for some of CORE’ s functions, including the Theological Lectures held between its Convocation and the NALC Convocation. Since CORE had morphed back into a reform and renewal within the ELCA and has abjured its role in helping congregations leave, there is little reason for the NALC to subsidize the organization. However, CORE members continue to serve in various capacities in the NALC, including Paul himself in its planning committee for the newly-named Braaten and Benne Theological Lectures.
Third, Paul opines that if the NALC has dallied with the Navigators it can certainly relate to orthodox elements in the ELCA, the implication being that the NALC was theologically lax in its dalliance. Truth is, Bishop Bradosky received sharp criticism for his work with the Navigators from some pastors within the NALC. He assured them he was interested in some of the techniques of evangelism and discipleship practiced by the Navigators rather than its theology. Heavens knows Lutherans need to get better at both. To abate any fears the Commission asked Nathan Yoder to draft a paper on discipleship, which he has done in solid Lutheran fashion. It is currently being reviewed by retired Bishop Paull, Spring, David Yeago, and James Nestingen. Theology is taken seriously in the NALC.
One of the great opportunities in building a new church is that we have the chance to do things right. The first thing we have tried to do right is to make sure Lutheran theology provides the guidance system of the church, not fashionable ideologies that have so flummoxed the ELCA. That’s what happened with the Navigators episode. Further, we are trying to do public witness properly, avoiding the ponderous social statements and promiscuous political advocacy we enjoyed in the ELCA. Likewise, with evangelism, both at home and abroad, and with theological education, which is going to be held closely to the life and needs of the church.
Another of the benefits to building a new church is that one can orient energies toward the future and distance them from the battles of the past. That’s why I don’t recognize at all Paul’s suggestion that the NALC, along with the LCMS, is “forced perpetually to define themselves over against the heterodoxy of the feared other.” He might be right about the LCMS, which is always fighting among contending “feared others” within the church itself. But, as far as I have experienced the NALC, there is little dwelling on the battles of the past with the ELCA. The doctrine of marriage and the requirement that baptism is necessary for participating in the Eucharist are settled teachings. “Pioneer evangelism” (bringing the Gospel to lands and peoples who have never heard it) is accepted without any debate whatsoever. With the aid and blessing of the Holy Spirit, we want to move on to building a viable church not obsess about the past.
Further, I do not think the NALC proudly thinks “orthodoxy is something we own.” We are quite aware that all human formulations are marred by sin and finitude. As Paul asserts, “Orthodoxy is yet an unfinished project” in the sense that what is implicit in the Bible and the Great Tradition can become explicit through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And new historical challenges have to be grappled with in ways that apply old truths in new ways. But there is an “apostolic faith,” a Great Tradition, a
“mere Christianity” that is settled and non-negotiable. The ELCA has denied at least two key doctrines of that apostolic faith: the Great Commission (it rejected “pioneer evangelism” in 1999); and the Christian doctrine of marriage (it has a male Bishop “married” to another man. Its doctrine will have to catch up with its practice.) More fundamentally, it submits doctrine to the manipulated decisions of a theologically and biblically uninformed assembly.
While I agree with Paul that God is working a shake-up of the Christian churches and perhaps realigning them anew in which denominational lines may be re-written or become obsolete, it’s a kind of Docetism that suggests that we can bracket church membership out of our lives at this point in history. As some Lutherans have argued, the church is included in the Gospel, and one simply has to take membership in a concrete body seriously. One cannot airily float above them all.
Finally, I do not think Paul has to worry about being “forced to shelter elsewhere.” The ELCA has no stomach for any forthright dismissals or heresy trials; it would much rather ignore you. Besides, who in the ELCA would be able to argue with the theologian who just finished a 1000-page systematic theology entitled Beloved Community—Critical Dogmatics after Christendom?
Robert Benne, Jordan-Trexler Professor Emeritus at Roanoke College
Professor of Christian Ethics, Institute of Lutheran Theology
A recent letter from the notoriously liberal ELCA bishop Michael Rinehart (Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod) has made its rounds within ELCA circles. Bishop Rinehart declared to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, “You are welcome in congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We are a church that believes it is wrong to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation. All are welcome. We celebrate diversity.” (read here)
Lutheran CORE, a “community of Lutheran Christians seeking to mobilize confessing Lutherans for evangelical renewal,” responded with their own letter saying, “on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we encourage you to reconsider same-sex orientations and behaviors and to be forgiven along with the rest of us. We also apologize, on behalf of the Church, for any false hope that Bishop Rinehart’s letter may have given you.” (read here)
Boy did that ruffle some ELCA feathers. Here are some of the most interesting comments Lutheran CORE's letter received -
“Thin-skinned, bitter, deliberately ignorant–a terrible way to go through life...As for the ignorant, hateful people that left the ELCA over this–good riddance. We need them like we need a bunch of racists, slaveholders, and misogynists.” (from the comment section of Lutheran CORE letter)
Comments from an ELCA Clergy group -
Comments from the ELCA facebook group -
What do you know . . . An ELCA leader doesn’t believe what the Bible says; this time its about Jesus’ birth. Surprise and Merry Christmas! (Do they celebrate Christmas in the ELCA any longer?)
Here is what was said by Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, concerning the two accounts of Jesus’ birth in the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke:
“They are very different stories which are quite incompatible with one another. . .I certainly do not believe they are ‘historical’ in any modern understanding of historicity. . .I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” (read here).
Here is what Rev. Carlson had to say about Christ being born of a virgin:
“Focusing on the virgin birth issue, we need to remember that accounts of virgin or miraculous births were not uncommon antiquity. However, we also need to remember that such accounts were intended to express something about the character of the person born. They were a ‘character reference’ or ‘credentials.’ They were not intended to explain where the individual got 23 of his or her chromosomes. An understanding of fertilization and pregnancy in antiquity was, let’s say, ‘agrarian’ at best.” (read in the same article linked above)
Toward the end of his blog/article Rev. Carlson gives this advice to pastors: “tell the old mythic story in a way that. . . it is heard anew”. In order to prove his points in the blog, the Assistant to the Bishop recommends a discussion of the birth narratives by the controversial Marcus Borg. (find out more about him here)
Pastor Steve Shipman, director of LutheranCORE addresses those who teach like Rev. Carlson. Rev. Shipman wrote:
“If a person chooses not to believe the Virgin Birth, they are free to do so. But they have no right then to claim to be a teacher or believer in Christianity. The faith once delivered to the saints is not a cafeteria from which we can pick and choose what pleases us.
If Jesus were born in the usual way, then what does it mean that He is 'the Word made flesh'? How can God be his Father in the way the Church has always proclaimed, if he is biologically the child of both Mary and Joseph (or even, as certain blasphemous legends suggest, of Mary and some other man)? Some early Christians made arguments for what is called ‘adoptionism,’ which taught that Jesus wasn’t born Son of God but was adopted into that role at his baptism by John. This was quickly rejected as heresy, because then the good news of the Incarnation simply can’t stand.
And it does matter for our salvation that ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.’ It does matter that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ If Jesus is just a good human being, even a perfect human being, He cannot save us but would only have saved Himself. But because He is God among us, taking our humanity into the life of the Holy Trinity, we have a marvelous hope for this life and the next.” (read here)
What I am reporting isn’t just one ELCA leader preaching heresy. No. Rev. Carlson’s article was posted on the website and blog of Michael Rinehart, bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bishop Rinehart is responsible for the article’s posting on his blog and he is culpable for what it says. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the ELCA’s Church Council and all high-ranking ELCA leaders are also responsible and culpable for what he (and others) say and/or for allowing theologically false-teaching to be preached. Allowing this heresy is the same as promoting it yourself. They are accomplices and are leading people away from God’s Truth and way from Christ.
People who don’t believe basic Christian truths and historic stories in the Bible are running the ELCA, teaching in the seminaries, preaching in the pulpits and “teaching” you about Christianity. Honestly, I believe Satan has infiltrated the ELCA and placed his people in leadership positions.
Here’s some more information on Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Don Carlson:
ELCA Pastor number one:
A few days ago, Liliana Stahlberg, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided to comment on Exposing the ELCA’s facebook page. Her comments came in response to a linked article entitled, “UCC Minister Enlists Help of Anti-Semitic Publication to Get Message Out.” Rev. Stahlberg said “Good for him!” Just after her praise for this UCC minister’s partnering with a Jew-hating publication she said, “Why do you guys waste your time hating people?”
On another section of our facebook page Rev. Stahlberg commented, "Exposing the ELCA is the true apostate church along with word alone, lutheran core and the likes...you are truly sad people!”
Liliana Stahlberg is the pastor of Highlands Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. (see here) Looking around on Highlands Lutheran Church’s facebook page (see here), I found a great deal of praise for many theologically questionable emergent church leaders. One post said “Highlanders, join me and others for this outstanding event where Brian McLaren a present day prophet speaks on how to turn hostility into hospitality! HE IS AMAZING!” and another post said “Bolz-Weber is preaching this Sunday at HLC! Come one, come all!”(read about Rev. Bolz-Weber here) Rev. Stahlberg’s church also shared articles on their facebook page by Jim Wallis and Shane Claiborne.
Just today Rev. Stahlberg returned to Exposing the ELCA’s facebook page to share more of her anger saying, “How arrognat of Dan Skogen to think he knows what God's word really is? he has never heard of Christ obviously!” and “Why are you guys sooooo homophobic? What are you afraid of? Why do you let your reptilian part of the brain take over the cortex that makes you human?”
Surely this woman is destined for greatness within the apostate Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
ELCA pastor number two:
Retired ELCA pastor, John-Otto Liljenstolpe, recently sent a comment to Exposing the ELCA in support of ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, when he came across a blog of mine entitled, “What is Bishop Hanson's Motivation?” I decided to do a little research on Rev. Liljenstolpe and found out he is a 9/11 truther. Rev. Liljenstolpe signed a petition on a website called, Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth and he penned this statement found on the same website: “I agree that the official conspiracy theory offered us by the Bush Administration appointed committee is not credible. I therefore demand that a panel be appointed involving physicists, engineers, architects, pilots, former intelligence officials, and military officers, historians, journalists - some of these being from other nations to evaluate the 9/11 WTC incident in the light of the available facts.” (see here)
I also came across a video of Pastor Liljenstolpe leading a prayer for protesters at Occupy Seattle.
I’m beginning to think the only requirement for being an ELCA pastor is to deny Biblical Truth. Anything else is fine.
_This is being promoted in the Saint Paul Area Synod newsletter -
“. . .Lutherans Concerned/Twin Cities (LC/TC) holds its seventh annual Reconciling in Christ (RIC) festival worship as part of the national celebration of welcoming churches, recognizing faith communities that bear a public witness to God’s love for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”
I wonder if the ELCA posts Lutheran CORE gatherings in their publications.
From this month’s The Lutheran:
“Heard a report from ELCA Secretary David Swartling that included the ELCA's current number of congregations (9,995) and baptized membership (4.2 million).” (see here)
The total given for baptized membership is, in all likelihood, high because many churches do not update their membership rolls very often.
For those wondering how much money the ELCA spent on the sexuality studies, a statement from 2002 says the ELCA “approved $1.15 million to fund the six-year project.” (see here)
From what I have read, it seems that the $1.15 million does not include the salary for ELCA staff who worked on the project.
The ELCA official website claims this about their “Peace Not Walls” blog:
“The Peace Not Walls blog is meant to show the breadth of views and opinions surrounding the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” (see here)
That's Hogwash! I have not seen a blog from this website that represents the prevailing Israeli viewpoint. What this blog does do is promote the ELCA leadership’s anti-Israel world view. Just look at the above statement calling the land “occupied.” It is an anti-Israeli narrative and very bias. Do not be fooled by the ELCA claims.
_I recommend you take a look at the latest Lutheran CORE newsletter. There are four articles that deal with the ELCA. (see the newsletter here)
Look for these articles -
Farewell words from Pr. Mark Chavez (p. 1)
Lutherans Reform! — South Central Pennsylvania (p. 4)
Why I am a member of Lutheran CORE (p. 5)
One congregation’s journey (p. 7) - (be sure to read this one!)
Exposing the ELCA is on twitter. Follow us by going here.
WordAlone Ministries, a stalwart in calling the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America back to its Biblical and Confessional roots, has decided to halt its ministry due to financial reasons. For twelve-plus years WordAlone has faithfully carried out God’s calling. Undoubtedly, their work lives on, as WordAlone has been instrumental in the forming of the LCMC, LutheranCORE and Sola Publishing.
Exposing the ELCA is saddened to see WordAlone Ministries close its doors, but we praise God for the work He has done through this faithful organization. Please keep the WordAlone leadership and staff in your prayers as they seek His direction for what is next in their lives.
Read WordAlone Ministries Announcement here.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America wants to change the rules. They want to make it much harder for orthodox, traditional, Scripture-believing ELCA churches to leave the denomination.
Read all about it on the front page of Lutheran CORE's newsletter (here). The proposal will be voted on in August 2011 at the next ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
How are these proposed amendments acceptable? Is this an example of Christian love? Did God give the ELCA leadership a 'new revelation' to 'do whatever possible' to take away congregations' free will? The ELCA gives lip-service to respecting our "bound conscience," but in reality their intentions and motivations are only self-serving. Sadly, the ELCA is trying to force you to partake in their heresy, false teachings and false gospel.
My advice - Get out now!
After exposing an anti-Israeli resolution being voted on at Metropolitan Chicago Synod Assembly, (read here) I am happy to tell you that the good people in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod are standing up to the ELCA, while they boldly stand for truth and God's Word.
Below are a number of the resolutions that will be voted on.
Item One: Conference [One] Teaching Statement
We, the members of Conference One of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA teach and believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and sexual activities belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage.
Item Two: Memorial on the Teaching of Marriage
BE IT RESOLVED that this synod teach and [confess] that marriage is between one man and one woman and sexual activity belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage.
Item Three: Memorial to the Synod Assembly
WHEREAS, the decisions of the 2009 CWA in regard to the implemented resolutions of rostered leaders in Publically Accountable Life-long Monogamous Same-sex relationship have wounded the collegial relationships within our synod, therefore be it,
RESOLVED, that the 2010 Assembly of the Southwestern PA synod of the ELCA censure (to critize severely, to blame, as from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) the decisions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly in adopting the Social statement, ”Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” and the four resolutions on Ministry Policies (CA09.05.23-24-26 & 27) as violations of the Confession of Faith, Chapter 2, of the ELCA Constitution, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the ELCA Church Council be advised of this resolution.
Item Four: Memorial to rescind the actions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly
WHEREAS the members of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA regard the actions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly on Ministry Policies and the actions of the Church Council to implement them to be violations of the ELCA’s Constitution (Confession of Faith, chapter two) be it
RESOLVED, that the 2010 Assembly of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA memorialize the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to rescind the four resolutions on Ministry Policies (CA09.05.23-24-26 & 27) and their implementation.
Item Five: Memorial to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly—Stand with Africa
WHEREAS the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in its April 29, 2010 press release declared:
“This church does not accept reasons offered by advocates of same-sex marriage and its legitimacy unless it is based on the Word of God and Biblical teaching; therefore, we reject inappropriate and false interpretations of scripture produced to justify the marriage of people of the same gender.
“This church encourages and supports all those around the world who oppose churches that have taken the decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
The statement goes on to say:
“Those supporting same-sex marriages have started to do all they can to destroy one Biblical passage after another in order to legalize homosexuality and affirm that marriage is not necessarily between a man and a woman. They do so by putting forward their new and wrong interpretation – one which displays an attitude and understanding which differs from that which has existed for many years in the Church regarding the meaning of marriage in accordance with the teachings of the Word of God.”
“Some Bible passages that have been misused and given another interpretation to defend same-sex marriage are the following: Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24, Matthew 19:5-7, Romans 1:26-27, Galatians 3:28, etc.”
The statement goes on to say:
“The ELCA and otherpeople worldwide who support our stand on the issue of opposing same-sex marriage believe that the Bible cannot be interpreted according to people’s wishes or according to other authorities of to culture. Rather, the Bible is self explanatory and is merely translated into various languages without altering the meaning.”
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA stand in solidarity with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania’s statement.
Item Six: Conference [One] Declaration
We, the members of Conference [One] of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA declare this conference to be a Lutheran CORE Conference.
ELCA Bishop censures pastor and 4 congregations in South Dakota for expressing opposition to new ELCA teaching and policy on homosexual behavior
Link to the article.
Seems to me that the ELCA is trying to intimidate congregations that are or would consider leaving the ELCA, into staying. This is also an great example what the ELCA truly is about. They say it is ok to have differing theology on homosexuality, but in reality if a pastor or congregation disagrees with the ELCA positions, they will punish you.
There will be much more of this to come, I'm sure.
A lot of hot (and crazy) wind is blowing and it is coming from Philadelphia. Specifically from Lutheran Theological Seminary (ELCA) Professor Jon Pahl.
Jon seems upset. I don't blame him. He works for a denomination that has turned its back on God's word and is in danger of dying. People are leaving the ELCA in droves and Jon gets most of his paycheck from that dying denomination. So he is going on the attack.
Professor Pahl begins, "All in all, the core of Lutheran CORE is rotten."
He claims heresies abound in Lutheran CORE and that the organization is about "American imperial ambition."
"Its mostly white, male, clergy fear the loss of privilege that heterosexual orientation and male status have so faithfully (and profitably) delivered over the decades and centuries," says the professor. Jon should really stop there because this fit he is throwing will do nothing to persuade the bible-believing ELCA members to want to stay in the ELCA. But he doesn't.
"Informed largely by American civil religion, and seeking to preserve not the 'great tradition' of the church, but instead the 'traditional' values of heterosexual, white, male, privilege, it is my studied historical judgment that Lutheran CORE cannot, and will not, play a major role in the history of the church," says Professor Pahl.
Our good professor then says the way Lutheran CORE defines marriage does not come from the Bible or Lutheran Confessions but it does come from the "'Defense of Marriage Acts' that have emerged in federal and state legislation as efforts to keep gays and lesbians from the civil and economic rights. . . These laws are distinctively American" (meaning "bad"), "and they are unjust because they legitimize unnecessary violence."
Professor Pahl, thank you for helping to support the view that the last place anyone would want to call a pastor from nowadays, is an ELCA seminary.
Article, found on the official ELCA website.
(readers, thank you for sending this article to me)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11